'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Gone Fishin'
'Top Chef All-Stars' Recap: Gone Fishin'
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
12 cheftestants are left! That's one-third of the crowd run off. Should make the recapping easier, anyway, even if it does nothing to help the poor chefs.

The Top Chef place looks empty. I guess that's because the cheftestants are still trapped in the Storage Closet of Doom. Do they ever let them out of there?

Everybody is still discussing last week's elimination of Casey. It was surprising. They expected Jamie. Marcel and Dale are pissy with each other.

A normal day for the Top Chef cheftestants! And then they go to bed. Except for Marcel, Dale and Tre, who get drunk on the roof. There are many expletives involved. Except not from Tre, who just sits stoically.

Did no one tell the cheftestants that the alarms were set for 4:30 AM? Thank goodness for Starbucks product placement!

Inside the Top Chef kitchen for the Quickfire Challenge and... no Padma! There's just a note sitting there, which reads "Meet us in Montauk!" It's signed from Padma and Tom, who are obviously fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Or maybe it's a producer. That's actually more likely, isn't it?). Tiffani is very excited about this.

They quickly realize that this means fishing. The product placement cars get them to Montauk in an absurdly short amount of time. Is there no traffic on the L.I.E.? When is this mythical, wondrous time of day?

Upon arrival, the cheftestants converge upon a lighthouse, where a summery-looking Padma and Tom await. Tom doesn't look so excited about the fishing. Even though he insists that he fishes there all the time.

And it's already the Elimination Challenge? No Quickfire today, I guess.

The cheftestants will get 5 hours to catch whatever they can. Then they have to cook it on a beach for 200 people. Working in 4 groups of 3. Hope nobody gets a boot. Or a dead body. There are a lot of those around Long Island, aren't there?

The teams are:
Team 1: Jamie, Tiffani, Antonia
Team 2: Angelo, Mike, Tiffany
Team 3: Dale, Carla, Tre
Team 4: Richard, Marcel, Fabio

Oh, and it's a double elimination! Now they look nervous. Off to sea!

Teams 1 and 3 get a boat together, while 2 and 4 are together later. Fabio seems to actually know what he's doing. Or else he's good at talking about it. Ditto for Dale. The others? Not so much.

Dale gets the first fish. Antonia is next. There is much screaming. And dancing. After that, there are many, many fish in the boats. Team 4 is getting frustrated by their lack of fish. Basically, all of the fish are on the Teams 1 and 3 boat.

Then Fabio and Mike get fish, so tragedy begins to be averted. There is suddenly a lot of testosterone on that boat. Poor Tiffany.

Next, they have 30 minutes at the Farmer's Market to find everything else they need. But the actual cooking will be the next day, so everyone heads back to the fancy house for reflecting. And wine.

Back to the beach the next morning, they're now in Brooklyn instead of Montauk. That's probably more efficient. Everyone prepares like crazy. Jamie complains a lot. Which makes everyone else complain about Jamie.

The cooking actually seems to go pretty smoothly. Until Tom shows up to freak everyone out anyway. Everyone calls each other "Chef" over and over in a way that's pretty reminiscent of this:



The Sun sets and everyone completely freaks out. This makes sense since the diners quickly descend upon the food stations. The judges arrive too and immediately get drinks. Guess they're not confident in the food. But they try anyway. Also, introductions are in order for Kerry Heffernan, the guest judge. He's a chef and Tom's fishing buddy.

Team 4 has made Sea Bass, Succotash, Corn Puree, Tomato Confit, Concord Gastrique, Jamon Froth

On Team 3:
  • Dale has a Fish Taco with Bass, Corn and Avocado Relish, Creme Fraiche, Radishes and Cabbage
  • Carla has a Smoked Blue Fish Lettuce Wrap, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Radishes, Bagel Croutons
  • Tre has Striped Sea Bass with Gazpacho Salad, Tomato and Avocado

The judges find Team 4's dish to be a little overcooked and mushy. The weird foam on top doesn't go over very well either.

They do like most of Team 3's offerings. Dale's fish taco is praised, they love Carla's smoke flavor and dill and pumpernickel accents, and Tre's fish is well cooked.

Over on Team 1:
  • Jamie has Striped Bass, Watermelon Salad with Fresh Dill, Shaved Radishes and Cucumber Water
  • Tiffani has a Smoked Blue Fish with Tomato, Roasted Corn and Zucchini Ribbon Salad
  • Antonia has Open-Faced Porgy Po-Boy with Old Bay Mayo and Cabbage Slaw

Team 2 worked together to offer:
  • Pickled Blue Fish, Spicy Watermelon, Shallots, Red Chillies, Confit Potato and Dill
  • Striped Bass with Corn Puree, Tomato, Aleppo Spice Rub and Watermelon

The judges' think Team 2's Blue Fish dish is nice but maybe a little heavy. The striped bass has competing flavors, but the fish is cooked well. They find Jamie's fish well-seasoned but the cucumber water seems redundant. The judges praise Antonia's courageous fish choice. Tiffani's dish they find too crude and without enough acidity.

Overall, the judges are actually happy with the effort. Nice change after last week. But the Storage Closet of Doom awaits anything.

Padma calls out Dale, Carla, Tre, Tiffany, Mike and Angelo first. These turn out to be the teams with the favorite dishes of the night. And the winner will get a trip to Amsterdam. That winner is... Carla!

She's almost humble about this, but it quickly spills into giddy. The losing teams do not appreciate her happiness.

Team 4 is very much called to task for making just the one dish. There is an awful lot of criticism for the dish. Do most of the dishes just get this edited out?

Now it's on to Team 3, where it turns out that the judges love Antonia's dish. She only lost (again) because of her association with some others. The judges didn't like Jamie's and Tiffani's dishes so much. The watery nature of Jamie's dish was way too much. Tiffani's dish had the flavors wrong. And Antonia cries.

After more deliberation than we usually, the judges come to a decision. The cheftestants going home are... Tiffani and Jamie. Yet again, the women go home. I guess Team 4's psychological warfare paid off!

What do you think? Did the right chefs go home? Or should someone else have gone. Leave a comment to let us know your opinions!

(Image courtesy of Bravo and video courtesy of Warner Bros. via YouTube)



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